cor·​ro·​sive | \ kə-ˈrō-siv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) , -ziv\

Definition of corrosive

1 : tending or having the power to corrode corrosive acids corrosive action the corrosive effects of alcoholism
2 : bitingly sarcastic corrosive satire

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Other Words from corrosive

corrosive noun
corrosively adverb
corrosiveness noun

Examples of corrosive in a Sentence

She argues that racism is dangerous and corrosive to society. a corrosive satire on the fashion industry and its movers and shakers

Recent Examples on the Web

Potential applications range from preventing the icing of aircraft wings by freezing rain to reducing the corrosive effects of brine from ocean spray—and even helping people stay snug and dry inside waterproof clothing. The Economist, "How to make a better raincoat with tiny “water bowls”," 4 July 2019 That allowed her to stick largely to her stump speech and deliver a progressive message to millions of people on everything from the corrosive effect of corporate money to gun control, without getting distracted or having to react to a sharp retort. Jaclyn Gallucci, Fortune, "Kamala Harris Shuts Down Debate Squabble With Raised Hands," 28 June 2019 Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who wrote powerfully of the corrosive effect of official secrecy, was among many who advocated for Morison’s pardon. Jameel Jaffer, The New Yorker, "The Espionage Act and a Growing Threat to Press Freedom," 26 June 2019 Water was pulled from a river without it being treated to reduce corrosive effects on old pipes, and a doctor reported high levels of lead in children. Washington Post, "Flint water decision shows legal complexities of disaster," 14 June 2019 While waiting for a new pipeline to bring water from Lake Huron, the majority-black city of 100,000 pulled water from the Flint River without treating it to reduce corrosive effects on old pipes. CBS News, "Charges dropped against 8 people in Flint water scandal," 13 June 2019 These patterns are forming that historically have been corrosive towards democracy and towards human advancement. Sean Gregory/oakland, Time, "The Golden State Warriors Revolutionized the NBA. Now They Plan to Keep the Dynasty Dream Alive," 20 June 2019 In 2009, Ocegueda's group was one of the first to turn up evidence that drug cartels sometimes dissolved victims in lye and other corrosive chemicals. Fox News, "In bloodied Mexico, ambivalence, hope over amnesty proposal," 23 July 2018 By then, the city had been delivering corrosive, lead-tainted water to its citizens for 21 months. Molly Rauch, Good Housekeeping, "When Your Water Poisons Your Children," 16 Feb. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'corrosive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of corrosive

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for corrosive

Middle English corrosif, borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin corrōsīvus, from Latin corrōsus, past participle of corrōdere "to gnaw, corrode" + -īvus -ive

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Statistics for corrosive

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for corrosive

The first known use of corrosive was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for corrosive



English Language Learners Definition of corrosive

: causing damage to metal or other materials through a chemical process
: causing someone or something to become weak and damaged


cor·​ro·​sive | \ kə-ˈrō-siv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) , -ziv\

Kids Definition of corrosive

: tending or able to destroy, weaken, or wear away little by little corrosive substances


cor·​ro·​sive | \ -ˈrō-siv, -ziv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) \

Medical Definition of corrosive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: tending or having the power to corrode corrosive acids a corrosive gas

Other Words from corrosive

corrosiveness noun



Medical Definition of corrosive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance that corrodes : caustic

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Comments on corrosive

What made you want to look up corrosive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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